Melbourne public auctions returned on the weekend after coronavirus restrictions were eased, returning a modest clearance rate of 52.9 per cent.
Sydney had a better time of it on the first week back, recording a clearance rate of 76.1 per cent from their 149 scheduled auctions.
Shane Oliver from AMP Capital told Domain Melbourne’s public confidence was shakier amid stricter lockdown restrictions and more COVID-19 outbreaks than Sydney.
“I suspect Melbourne’s lower results have more to do with the slower easing of restrictions and less optimism that the virus has been beaten,” he said.
Mr Oliver said it was too early to tell what the impact of unemployment, falling household incomes and falling immigration would have on the property market.
“The one big positive is that interest rates are low and that might encourage people to buy,” he told Domain.
In Melbourne, the relaxed restrictions allowed for a maximum of ten people to attend each auction.
To accommodate more numbers, some agents were happy to facilitate an online stream of their auction.
“We’re finding people are wanting a combination of online and on-street auctions,” Ray White’s Lee Kelepouris told Domain,
“People on the street can see their competition, while others prefer the privacy aspect of online auctions and getting only genuine buyers.”
Marshall White’s Stonnington director John Bongiorno said he expected the auction market to pick up after a few weeks.
“We’re really aiming towards having a big June rather than May,” he told Domain.
“People are starting to trickle back on to the market and there’s still a bit of a wait-and-see attitude.”